Mr. & Mrs. Powers
MR.& MRS. POWERS
***author’s note this chapter takes place roughly over the course of a few months
Slowly, but surely I was adjusting to life being on my own for the first time. It wasn’t easy living apart from my sister. Reagan and I lived together our entire lives. Even through all the fighting we stayed together because we were a family and we depended on each other. We were both upset I moved out, but it was time. Reagan asked me once if I felt that I was being pushed out because she was getting married. I assured her that wasn’t the case.
We were both moving onto new chapters in our lives and this was best for all. I told Rea before she left for her honeymoon not to worry, I would bring the cats over to visit. That made us both laugh. I’ve always been the primary care taker of Sammy and Tinky, but Reagan loved them too. I found Tinky as a stray, sickly kitten and brought him home my senior year in high school. Sammy was Mom’s cat, but we were like his adoptive parents. Someone she knew gave him to her. It surprised all of us that Mom would even want to be bothered with a little kitten, but nonetheless she seemed to like him. When Mom left us, she essentially left little Sammy too.
When Reagan showed me how much money she was giving me from the house and the generous extra amount, I was beyond floored. I took her advice to open my own gallery. All of the money would be invested into the gallery, my expenses and paying off my loans for my master’s and my Prius.
Jaylen offered to hook me up with his marketing resources. My sister and Jay obviously knew people in high places that liked spending money on art. Their offer to invite some of their acquaintances to the galley was very generous. I didn’t want to seem like people were coming to see my art just because they knew my sister. I would take Jay up on his offer with the marketing, but I would be paying for everything. I wanted to do this on my own, I needed to know that I could make it in this game based on my work. Sure, I took the extra money from Reagan, but we considered it as an investment, not a gift. As soon as I turned a profit, I intended on giving Reagan her share, even though I knew she would try not to accept it.
There were was a long list of necessary items I needed before I opened. I had to purchase better art supplies, sculpting tools, canvases, and too many other things to name. Several of my pieces were show ready, but not everything was ready for the public. I didn’t have enough pieces I considered “good enough”. I’m a perfectionist and very finicky when it comes to my work. Nothing would go on display until I was one hundred percent satisfied.
Micah hinted to me a few months back about possibly living together. He claimed not only would we solidify our relationship, but I wouldn’t have to worry about struggling financially. I didn’t think we were ready for that. Besides, this is the first time, I’ve been in my own space. I needed this time for myself. The good thing was that we would have more privacy. Micah came to the house when I was living with Reagan, but we were usually in my room the last few months. When Rea was working and out of town all the time, it wasn’t a big deal, but she took off to plan her wedding.
I didn’t feel too comfortable laying up with my boyfriend while she was down the hall with Jaylen. I’m just a private person. Micah and I hung out at his house too, but it could get awkward with Lake around. Lake still had issues with my sister. What went down with them was many moons ago and he needed to get over it. In Reagan’s defense, they weren’t in a relationship and he knew that. Micah even told his brother he needed to let it go. Lake didn’t care too much for me because I was a direct representation of her. When he tried making little sideways comments, I was quick to check him on it.
Rea and Jay were expected back from their honeymoon pretty soon. I looked forward to hearing about the trip and seeing all the pictures and video. After they had a few days to unwind, Daddy was coming out for the welcome home party we were having at their house. I wished Daddy could stay longer than just a few days, but he said he had to get back to work. True, we just saw each other in Miami, but I missed him already. Marcia was coming too. Initially, Rea and I weren’t feeling Daddy’s new relationship, but over time we set aside our problem with it once we could see how happy he was.
Reagan was a beautiful bride and so was the wedding. Reagan teased me about my new look and hair. It was a little outside of my normal comfort zone. I know I’m a bit weird, but I feared getting involved with all that weave and dresses thing, would invalidate who I was as a person. At least the clothes Reagan gave me and dressed me up in weren’t too gaudy. Aside from Reagan loving my new look, Micah was crazy about it. He loved me either way. Most importantly, I liked it. I was still the same Kennedey overall and that would never change.
Although I was excited about opening my own gallery, there was still a part of me that felt empty. I didn’t feel like I could fully enjoy this huge accomplishment I was about to make. Lately, I’ve had dreams about my mother. Some were good, some bad. In one of my dreams, I spoke to her. Not in the past, but in the present, like she was sitting on my living room sofa. What surprised me, is that our conversation wasn’t antagonistic, but pleasurable. Other dreams I was a teenager, feeling ignored and listening to her constantly fighting with Daddy.
I got up one morning and painted a portrait of my mother. This was what she looked like the last time I saw her. It was so long ago and I wanted to express my feeling of longing through my painting. I still remember every single detail about her face and the dress she wore the night before she left.
In another dream, we fought about why she wasn’t supportive of me or encouraged my passion for art or the causes I found important. Mom kept telling me dreams were meant to die, they never really come true. She said, if by some miracle you were to realize your dreams, there would be something you’d have to give up, the catch 22. You can’t get something for nothing. I usually woke up and vividly remembered everything we said and argued about. I found it funny that the times Mom and I were having a good conversation and getting along, I couldn’t remember any of that.
The dreams I had of my mother and I getting along and her just being a “mom” probably symbolized what I wanted all these years, but never became a reality, never became true. It made me think of that Langston Hughes poem, ‘A Dream Deferred’.
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?’
That poem always had a striking affect on me, especially after my mother left. Maybe I remembered it because it reminded me of her, I don’t really know. In any case, I haven’t told anyone about my dreams, not even Reagan. What would be the point?
The Powers were home at last. I couldn’t believe Jay and I were embarking on our first day in our home as husband and wife. The honeymoon in the sense of a vacation was technically over, but the “honeymoon” was far from over. Our family and friends were aware we were home, but they knew to give us our space for a few days. Jay and I had such a great time in The Bahamas and we were worn out.
I was determined to spend the next several days in our home with my new husband. I couldn’t keep it from him any longer, Jaylen suspected something was up with all the back and forth text messaging and “secret” phone calls with his mother. I had to tell him about the man cave. “I can’t believe you and my mom have been plotting this,” laughed, Jaylen.
“Yeah, well, baby. I wanted to give you your own personal space. Yuri and I want to go over our plan when we see each other in a few days for the welcome home party,” I replied. “So, do I get any input on the design?” asked Jaylen. I laughed a little, knowing full well Jay couldn’t care less about the actual “look”, just as long as it had top notch everything, a theater sized TV, bar, and a few other toys. “Of course, baby, it’s your room,” I replied. “Yeah right, I know you and I know my mother. It’s all g’ though. Everything sounds good, I trust y’all,” said Jaylen. “Awwwhh, thank you for trusting me,” I said as I leaned over to kiss him.
As I mentioned before, Jay and I did things around the house for each other. He made us breakfast every other day and since the weather was gorgeous outside, he’s been grilling like crazy. It was a matter of give and take.
Jaylen teased me when I was baking an apple cobbler, saying I would only be like this for about a month. It’s not like baking was anything new for me. No, I didn’t do much of it now, but when I was kid, I had one of those old school easy bake ovens. I used make little muffins and cakes for my dad and my dolls. I even made stuff for my mother, when she seemed receptive.
Daddy and Marcia were flying in for our little backyard barbeque. Marcia has never been to IP and she told me she was eager to see how beautiful it was out here. I asked Daddy if it was a problem for him to take off so much from work. He told me, that since he’s his own boss, it wasn’t a big deal. When I expressed my concern about the cost of flying, he said it was fine because he’s been racking up flier miles. Of course, I would pay for him to come see me, but Daddy had his pride. I knew my father would be okay because he knew how to hustle, but I didn’t want him overworking himself.
It’s only been a few weeks, but I was excited to see my father again. “Hi Daddy, I missed you!” I said, hugging him tightly. “But you just saw me,” he replied, laughing. I held on tightly for a little longer. “I know, but I still missed you,” I repeated.
Our families said hello to each other, happy to see one another again so soon after the wedding. The last time we were all here at the house, we had yet to break the ice. Now, my father and Jay’s parents had a friendly relationship. Marcia complimented me on the house and Daddy was eager to know how Kennedey was settling in. Daddy worried about Kennedey like I did, but we knew she was smart and would be okay.
All of our other guests soon arrived and congregated into the backyard. “Rea Rea!” Briah yelled. I laughed at how loud Bri was, I knew she was genuinely happy to see me. “Hey Bri Bri,” I replied, giving her a quick hug. I looked at Briah’s face a little closer. She looked a bit tired. Her brow was furrowed like she was about something. I suspected it was problems with Malika. I sensed something was bothering her when we spoke on the phone the other day.
Briah had to develop a thick skin early in life, so she put on a front because she didn’t want me worrying about her. Briah needed to know that wasn’t necessary with me. I said what’s up to Jazz, who couldn’t wait to tell about some of the projects she had in the works for me. I knew she was eager to get started on the next phase in my career, but I didn’t want to discuss work today.
Jaylen didn’t waste anytime telling Apollo and his friends about the J’s and other wedding gifts I gave him. Apollo also didn’t waste anytime letting Jay know he already knew about everything and he helped me choose what I bought him. Jaylen was surprised, but he thanked Apollo for helping me out. “Yeah, you can thank me, by letting me post up in that lux box, next season, dog,” said Apollo. “Yeah, that’s wassup, son,” replied Jaylen.
“Those pictures from the honeymoon were beautiful, Reagan. I could see how much fun you two were having,” said Yuri. I nodded in agreement. “We did. The islands were gorgeous. I can’t wait to go back,” I replied. “It went by too quickly,” added Jaylen. “Your mother and I vacationed near there before you and Amarre were born. That whole area is nice,” added Kevin. Daddy glanced around. “That’s who is missing, where’s your brother, Jay?” he asked. “Oh, he’s back in New York. I saw him a few days ago. Amarre’s working more lately. I haven’t even seen him much since the wedding,” replied Jaylen.
“Jaylen, how are you adjusting to married life? Did you have to merge a lot of your stuff with Reagan’s?” asked Marcia. Jaylen laughed a little. “I’m adjusting well, I think, we both are. I have a lot of stuff, some of it’s still in the house I shared with my brother. I haven’t gone through it all,” answered Jaylen. “Are you planning on keeping the apartment in Brooklyn?” asked Dad. “Yeah, for now. I don’t see any reason to sell it. Whenever Reagan and I go to New York, we won’t have to worry about hotels,” replied Jaylen.
“The apartment is nice, but it’s a bachelor pad. I’ve told my son he should just sell it and either buy a home nearby, or stay with us with they’re in town. It’s going to be more convenient once we move into the house Kevin’s firm just finished renovating. When they have children, that apartment won’t be suitable for a baby. It’s on the top floor, no washer and dryer in the unit. There’s no real space for children and it’s in a very busy section of Brooklyn,” remarked Yuri. Jaylen sighed. “Mom, please. Reagan and I have only been married for two seconds. No baby is coming tomorrow,” he said, looking exasperated, as everyone began laughing.
“Look, boy, I’m just thinking about the future. You don’t know when that day will come, no matter how much you plan to wait. You think your father and I were expecting to see you two, double and trouble, thing one and thing two, so soon after we were married? We had a nice sized apartment for two professionals, not a family. We had to find a more suitable home quickly. I couldn’t do as much carrying twins and time wasn’t on our side,” said Yuri, cutting her eyes at Jay and giving him one of her Claire Huxtable ‘mom’ looks. Jay knew when Yuri gave him that look, it was best to just be quiet.
“Yuri, will you leave this boy alone? New York isn’t where they live,” spoke up Kevin. I found all this very amusing watching Jay and his mother going back and forth. I knew it frustrated him at times, but it was so cute. “Kevin, he’s my son. It’s my duty as his mother to give him sound advice. He may be grown and he doesn’t have to listen to me, but who do kids, no matter what age they are come to when they need advice? They come to their parents. For a subject like family, Jay will automatically go to his mother before he would go to you,” Yuri replied to her husband, now giving the Claire look to him, while slightly rolling her neck. I guess Kevin knew to be quiet as well. I giggled under my breath. I think I was going to like being a Powers woman.
“Hey, girl. So what’s up with you? How’s everything been going?” I left my question open to Briah in case she wanted to talk to me about Malika or anything else. I told Bri to not let her move out here, but she felt she had no choice because her mom was having so many problems with Malika. I probably wouldn’t say this to Briah, but I wouldn’t put it past Malika to try to run up on Apollo behind her sister’s back. I don’t believe Apollo would be tempted or anything, he loved Bri too much. I knew what kind of girl she was especially after that little stunt she pulled last winter walking around half naked in front of Jay, Apollo, and Aubrey.
Malika wasn’t my cousin so I didn’t have a real vested interest in her, but she was Bri’s sister, so I cared about what was going on. Not only was Malika stressing her out, but Bri told me about the argument with her brother and the extreme blowout she had with her dad, my Uncle Alonzo. I asked her why she waited so long to tell me. Briah said she only wanted me to focus on my wedding and not her issues.
“Rea Rea, I just don’t know what to do. I mean after Apollo and I got into it, we squashed it. I still don’t like that fact he even allowed Vonte to think it was okay for him to come out here. He’s trying to play big brother and shit,” complained Briah. I didn’t really know what to say. Bri had her hands full, she didn’t need any added stress. “Regardless if Apollo is trying to be De Vonte’s hero or not, you need to sit him down and really explain to him why he can’t come out here. Not to live, a visit, or anything else. You think shit is bad now with Malika? Girl, it will only get ten times worse if De Vonte came out too,” I replied. “I have talked to him in the past, but Apollo feel like he gotta “save” Vonte cause of how he grew up. Apollo had your father-in-law to help him, so he’s like that for Vonte. Briah could do nothing but agree with me. I did feel for her, but ultimately she was going to have to put her foot down if she wanted to maintain any kind of peace, which was already hard with Malika in the house.
The following morning, Jay met up with Daddy and Kevin to hit a few golf balls. This was the perfect time for Yuri to come and discuss the design for the man cave with me. I described to Yuri more of my ideas for the room.
“I don’t want to make a big fuss over it. It doesn’t need a lot. At least we don’t have to worry about different fabrics and patterns,” I said. Yuri nodded her head. “True. I’ve came up with a few sketches already,” she said. Yuri began to draw a design of the room. I liked that she wasn’t going overboard and consulted with me on everything. “Once we have all the materials and everything else, the whole job shouldn’t take anymore than a couple of days,” she informed me. “Really? That’s all?” I asked. “Yes. I have an excellent team. It’s not a very big job. Only a couple of custom builds, everything else I’ve already ordered and will just need to be set up,” replied Yuri.
“That’s good. Jay’s going to be so happy. You know he loves his toys. He’s also forbidden to see any progress until the room is completely finished,” I said. Yuri laughed. “Let me know how that works out. You know, the first room I ever designed for Jaylen was the nursery he and his brother shared. The last room I designed for him was his own bedroom when he was in elementary school. After that, I wasn’t allowed to touch anything in there,” she told me, with a kind of sadness in her eyes.
“Did the nursery have a theme?” I asked, hoping to lighten the mood. “Winnie the Pooh. It was so cute. I found a lot of vintage Pooh memorabilia. I took a mix of that and added some of the newer Winnie the Pooh art works and toys with it. The color scheme was baby blue. I was anxious to find out the sex of the babies so I could hurry up and get started on their room. The boys loved it, especially Jaylen. I know they couldn’t talk at first, but they would lay in their little cribs and stare at the mobile for the longest periods of time. Jaylen would always try to reach his little fat arm up and touch Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore as they slowly spun around. Jay continued to love Winnie as a little boy too,” said Yuri, laughing.
“Hmm, he never told me that. This gives me leverage now,” I said, laughing. “Yes, it certainly does. Amarre liked Pooh too when they were little, but his favorite was Mickey. You know, they would both deny this until they were blue in the face, of course,” said Yuri. I looked at Yuri and smiled to myself. I was glad I went to her in Miami and we talked our issues out. Yuri was a good mom and over time, I hoped we continued to get along and build on our friendship.
Jay’s parents and Marcia headed back home because they had to get back to work. My father was staying a couple of extra days. On our quest to get Daddy to move to IP, Kennedey and I suggested showing him more of the islands now that the weather was nice. The last couple of times he’s been out here, it was still chilly outside. It wasn’t that we were trying to take him away from Marcia, but we my sister and I’ve longed to live in the same city as our father since college. Besides, who knows, maybe Marcia would want to move IP too. She kept raving about how beautiful it was here.
“See, Daddy? You have all this water around you. Perfect blue waves, bright sandy beaches. There’s a lot to do too, you’ll never get bored. IP isn’t fast like Miami, but it’s definitely not slow like Appaloosa. There’s good restaurants, sports bars, movie theaters, too much to name. IP even has a car museum, I know how much you love cars,” I said in my most convincing voice.
“Yeah, Daddy and you know you love sports, they have pro teams from IP, too. The Dolphins and Heat come to play against…whoever the teams are here,” Kennedey chimed in. Daddy let out a loud laugh. “You two are something else. Don’t even know the names of the teams for IP. Trying to dangle all these amenities in front of me. They have a huge lake in Appaloosa I often go to and a couple sports bars. It’s nice and quiet. That’s all I need right now,” he countered.
“We were all born and raised in Miami. An environment like this is what you’re used to. Don’t you want to see your little girls everyday?” I asked, sticking out my bottom lip. I looked over at Kennedey, who followed suit. Dad looked at both of us, shaking his head. “Y’all two are pathetic and wrong. Just devious, just like when you were little,” he said, chuckling.
“Ray, trust me. I wasn’t feeling it here at first. Brooklyn and IP are very different, but once we got to know the islands and started setting up shop, Amarre and I began rocking with it,” said Jaylen. Daddy looked over at Jaylen. “Did my daughter make you say that?” he asked. “No, sir. I just think you would like it out here, you might me surprised,” laughed Jaylen. I smiled at him, happy my baby was co-signing for me.
Daddy told Kennedey and I to not give up hope. He didn’t say he would never leave Appaloosa, he felt comfortable where he was for now. I knew I would hate saying goodbye to my father in a couple of days. Sure, I had my husband now, but I was finding it harder and harder to live so far away from him. Kennedey felt the same way.
Micah was being so quiet, I almost forgot he came along. He didn’t exactly click with Daddy and Jay. My father and Jay were more into sports and cars, while Micah couldn’t care less about that stuff. Micah didn’t contribute much to the conversation, and he only spoke when spoken too.
As far as I knew, Micah didn’t have an issue with me, we got on fine. Ken told me that Daddy invited Micah to go golfing with them yesterday, but he declined. I don’t think he had a problem with our father or Jay, but their interest were different from his for the most part. Kennedey mentioned Micah didn’t feel like he would have anything in common with Daddy, Jay, and Kevin because they were apart of our family and he wasn’t. On top of that, Micah opposed country clubs and everything they stood for. Since that’s where the guys went, Micah refused to be caught dead there.
I thought it was a little weird when Kenney asked Micah to play his guitar for us, he told her he wasn’t in the mood. Why even bring the guitar? Kennedey probably asked him to take it with him. “You sure you won’t play, Micah? Ken tells me you’re really good,” said Dad. Micah shrugged. “Nah, I have to be in the mood to play. I’ve had a lot of practice this week and I guess I’m just burnt out,” he answered. Daddy nodded his head, but didn’t push the issue further.
Kennedey had a look of frustration on her face. She felt Micah could make more of an effort to get to know us. My sister loved this guy and because of that, I didn’t want him to feel strange whenever he was around the family. I suggested she have a little get together for just the four of us when she got settled. Maybe that would help break the ice.
Everyone around us could tell we were still in the honeymoon phase. Jaylen knew I was a bit shy about being too touchy-feely around my father, so he cooled it for the most part. I don’t even think Daddy cared all that much, he wasn’t a prude, but I was still his daughter.
Jaylen and I gave our group more details about our trip. Kennedey was particularly interested in knowing about the cultural environment and museums. “Uh, we didn’t actually get to any of the museums,” I replied, sheepishly. Kennedey loved to know as much about the art community in different countries as possible. She was particularly interested in the Caribbean region, since that’s where our mother’s people are from. “Well, we want to go back soon, maybe the whole family can go too,” I suggested. “That would be nice. I can add it to my list of places I want to visit,” replied Kennedey.
It was getting pretty warm outside. I made myself an ice cream cone to cool down. I could tell by the look in Jay’s eyes, he was getting turned on by the way I licked my cone. Such a man he was, but that’s my baby. Goodness knows, I get hot just watching him work out.
Daddy and Jay talked about the upcoming football or basketball season, I’m not really sure which one, they sounded the same to me.
Kennedey told me about all the new paintings and sculptures she’s been working on. Kennedey got so excited over her art, she could talk about it for hours. It was nice to see Ken feeling so good about herself. She kept insisting once she made a profit from the gallery, she would give me the extra money I gave her back. I didn’t want it, but like Daddy (and me too) my sister had her pride.
Kennedey and I smiled when we saw Jay attempting to make small talk with Micah. Jay loved Kennedey like a sister, so he was making an effort to find some common ground with Micah. I could tell it was a bit of a struggle for Jay, especially because he is used to falling into conversations so easily with people. One thing Jay and Micah had in common, was they each had a Leeds woman in their life. Perhaps that was something they could build on and go from there.
I couldn’t believe how much time has already passed since we got back home. Jay was already back at work and I was going to be starting on my new campaigns, commercials, and shoots myself in the very near future. While we were still on our honeymoon, Jay mentioned he received a text from his brother that he took a few extra days in Miami to handle some “business”.
I remembered Jaylen telling me a couple of months ago Amarre was pushing to open another Tomo in Miami sometime next year. I got the feeling Jay didn’t like that Amarre used some of the time we spent in Miami for research on setting up shop. Jaylen didn’t say anything a couple of months ago, but it bugged him that much of Amarre’s focus was on the Miami business during the planning and all the other activities. Jay was thankful for what his brother was doing as best man, but he didn’t think he was as attentive as one should be.
Amarre wanted to discuss future expansion plans and selling Avenue. He was looking to have another club up by the time Tomo turned two years old. I had the feeling the brothers were trying to avoid any kind of argument. Things were rocky with them off and on for months and they finally started to get back on track days not too long before our parties in New York.
I made a conscious choice to keep my nose out of it and Jay’s business in general. Shortly after we got engaged, Jay told me he was laying off the heavy travel to New York and only going if necessary. We had a limited time to plan the wedding and we wanted to focus not only on that, but growing closer as a couple and getting in the mindset that we would soon be husband and wife.
“It’s like we both said months ago, A, we should continue to focus on Tomo here,” said Jaylen. “Jay, don’t you think of all people, that I know this? My whole focus has been to see that Tomo stays in the black and makes money. The brand needs to grow, the only way to do that, is to expand. If we sold Ave, we could focus on Tomo and invest more time into opening Miami. Normally, I wouldn’t be so quick to rush into something like this, but I’ve done months of research and figured all the costs and projections. If I didn’t think we could take this on, I would be the last person to suggest it. We need to strike while the iron is hot. I have connections down in Miami that would guarantee prime commercial real estate for a club, but that won’t last forever. It’s not like I want to go and open this year. Tomo IP would be two years old by the time Miami would open,” reasoned Amarre.
Jay didn’t want to push the issue with his brother right now. He knew Amarre was very smart and business savvy, they both were. Amarre was more than capable of managing two clubs as long as he had the right people working for him and Jay had his back. It’s not that Jay didn’t want to support his brother’s dream, his priorities were different now from Amarre’s.
My man’s been working so hard the last few days. Jay was in and out of meetings with his brother at the club. Jaylen has also taken on different tasks at Tomo. He was always more of the mingling type of club owner. Jay is very good at making his guests feel welcomed and that’s why they always came back. However, now that he was married, Jay didn’t want to spend too many weekends at Tomo until the wee hours of the morning. I wasn’t opposed to going with him, but my head wasn’t in the club at the moment.
I decided to bake Jay his favorite chocolate chip cookies. His grandmother was sweet enough to share the recipe with me when I called her up the other day. To spice things up a little, I took a quick shower, toweled myself off and put on my new cherry red Loubs Yes, the heels were the only thing I wore. It was like that.
I heard Jaylen walking into the kitchen. “Damn, baby, that’s not a sight you see in the kitchen everyday,” he said, licking his lips. I walked over to him with a plate of freshly baked cookies in my hand.
“I made you some cookies, boo,” I purred, seductively. “Mmmm, cookies…and cookies,” said Jaylen. His eyes grew to twice their size. It wasn’t the actual cookies he was staring at.
Jaylen quickly stuffed a couple into his mouth and grabbed me around my waist. My insides immediately became warm, feeling Jay’s body pressed up against mine. “Damn, Ma. I bet Ward never came home to this,” said Jaylen in a low voice. I giggled. “Probably not. I’m freaky June,” I said. “Oh, really? You wanna show me just how big of a freak you are?” asked Jaylen, his breathing coming faster and harder. I stuck my tongue in Jaylen’s mouth one more time and lead him upstairs.
I pushed him on the bed. “I’ve been a naughty girl, Mr. Powers,” I said, my voice dripping in seduction. “Oh yeah? How so?” asked Jaylen. “Well, you see, I took a shower, but I forgot to put on any clothes. I guess I need to be punished,” I teased. I could tell that my husband was getting more excited by the second.
Jay rubbed his hands up and down my back. “I think you need to be punished too. Daddy might have to give you a spanking,” he murmured. I took my tongue and licked his lips. “Well, I guess a spanking is the only way I’ll learn my lesson. I can’t promise you it won’t ever happen again, Mr. Powers,” I said in a little baby doll voice. “Well, if you continue this kind of behavior, I guess I’ll have to teach you another lesson,” Jaylen moaned. I took me about two minutes to rip Jaylen’s clothes from his body. Class was in session, I was ready to be taught my “lesson.”
The weeks flew by since we returned home. It was back to work for me and into the swing of things. I was filming another commercial for Cover Girl. Fortunately, I didn’t have to leave town. The shoot was taking place right on the beach, not too far from where we lived.
Taylor and Brad told me how many interview requests have come through their offices ever since Jay and I got married. Everywhere you went, news about my wedding was splashed across some supermarket tabloid or the biggest blogs online. I honestly couldn’t care less about that. I told Taylor very strictly, that none of the agency’s clients I worked with were to exploit my nuptials in any way. Hell, they were getting enough free publicity out of me for their brand. I may be in the public eye, but my wedding and marriage was very much a private affair.
I informed my agency and Brad that I would not be doing any interviews nor releasing any official pictures. Brad asked me to consider People magazine’s offer to buy the wedding pictures. Their offer was more than generous, but that wasn’t something Jay and I wanted any part in. I would most likely share a few pics from the reception on my Instagram in the future, but not anything I considered very intimate. In the past I would’ve shared nearly everything, but I have since learned that some things are sacred and our vows and ceremony certainly were.
Right before we headed to New York, Yuri came back into town to finish the job on Jay’s man cave. It was finally time for the big reveal.
“I love it! Thanks Mom, thanks boo,” said Jaylen, reaching over to hug Yuri and I. He seemed very impressed with the set up and everything we chose to include in the room. I told him I decided not to add a little refrigerator because I feared I would hardly see him “That wouldn’t happen boo, believe me,” Jaylen assured me.
Yuri and I were pleased, seeing the look on Jaylen’s face. He never complained that the house didn’t have any of his influence, but it’s obvious he was happy to have a little place he could call all his own.
Before things started getting crazy with the wedding business, Brad set me up with a business manager, Lana Hernandez. I’ve only spoken with her via online conference and the phone until recently when I the chance to meet her on IP. She had a great reputation for securing beneficial deals for her clients. Lana had set up a meeting with Brauman’s, a clothing retailer comparable to Nordstrom. Brauman’s has been after me come in some sort of deal with to start a potential shoe line. While, I let Lana and Brauman’s know from jump, I was making no promises as of now because I had too much on my plate. I agreed to meet with them in any case
Lana set up a time for to go over some of the ideas Brauman’s had for any deal or merger I were to venture into with them. Taylor as my agent came along, as did Jazz, who was still in charge of my brand. Brad and Lana met us downstairs in the lobby of Brauman’s New York offices. I didn’t feel too worried about meeting with Brauman’s because everyone knew this was just a way for them to see where I was in my career and any plans I may have for starting a line with them.
“You and I have worked really hard on making your brand what it is today and we still so long to go. This would be a good look for you, but you have to do it when you’re ready,” said Jasmine. “Reagan, you have the upper hand if you should enter into any agreement with the company somewhere down the line. Your name and brand are a hot commodity, which attracts big clothing retailers like Brauman’s, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus,” said Lana. She was a very nice young woman, but don’t let that fool you, Lana was a bulldog when it came to putting business deals together for her clients. I was thankful to Brad for hooking us up.
The meeting with Malcolm Greenwood and Rajan Benjamin wasn’t very long, but it was productive. Brauman’s wanted to assure me that I they understood I had a very busy schedule as an in demand top model and I had many contractual obligations that came first in my professional life. Therefore we decided to keep the door open for me to consult with them over my designs and vision over time.
Malcolm and Rajan said the company was looking to reach a whole new market, young misses and juniors. Being in the public eye and my popularity drew people in. Basically, the fashion and retail world considered my name to be gold. The head at Brauman’s wanted to bank their money on someone with like me. I had a very large following and presence on social media, where you found the audience they were targeting. My campaigns and endorsements were more popular than ever. People considered me to be a fashion icon. That title was flattering, but I don’t I try hard to be stylish, I think it was just in me.
“Reagan, young girls and women look up to you as a fashion role model. You’re beautiful, relatable, you come from a humble background, and you’re real,” said Malcolm. “Yes, and people admire your story. When you could have stayed down, you sprung right back up and worked harder to make a name for yourself. Americans love a comeback story,” added Rajan.
I knew Malcolm and Rajan wanted to boost my ego in order for me to go ahead and sign on with their company. Not that I needed any ego boosting. I learned a hard lesson in humility. Jazz said something similar when she first came on as my image consultant. She said as a country, Americans love an underdog and great comeback stories. I had a lot critics, but many people rallied around me last summer and after my ACC interview. Once I went back to work, there was a plethora of offers for me.
Jasmine did a tremendous job on building my brand and I had a great public relations team behind me. People admired that instead of withering away, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and kept going. My father was no quitter and he always encouraged us to never give up. If you’re trying to do things one way and it’s just not working, look for another way to do it, until you’re successful at it.
By the time we left the corporate offices of Brauman’s, I was happy with the arrangement we entered into. There was no real contract binding me to coming out with a line by a certain date. I was merely consulting with them for a potential line in the future. My modeling was important and took priority, but my marriage was more important than anything else. No, I didn’t want to model forever and the Reagan Leeds brand needed to continue to have longevity and I needed to be able to support myself long after I left the game.
While I was in New York, Yuri and I made a date for some retail therapy. Of course, Yuri had impeccable fashion sense and she always kept it classy, but many of the clothes she wore, a younger woman would wear too.
I had the feeling Yuri liked the feeling of going shopping with a “daughter” and to be honest I liked feeling like I was shopping with a “mother.” Yuri and I had a lot of the same taste. I was afraid her opinion in the wedding dress boutique would be too critical, but now I see she probably would have co-signed on the styles I chose.
Yuri has told me on more than one occasion how fashion forward she thought all my gowns for the wedding were and they fitted my personality. I helped her pick out a new Chloe bag and she helped find a new Prada bag I fell in love with. We also hit up a few stores that sold merchandise that didn’t equivalent to a house payment.
Yuri suggested stopping in Starbucks. We ordered a couple of frappuccinos and found a table near the front of the store. I wasn’t in a rush to get back to the apartment. For one, I knew Jay was still at Avenue and two, I was too tired to move from this chair. “Oh, girl, I haven’t gone shopping like that is quite awhile. This will have to be our thing when you come to New York. Either that or a spa day,” said Yuri. “I would like that. You know your son was talking mess when we were on our honeymoon, because I was “wallowing” around in mud,” I said. Yuri shook her head. “I bet. Kevin and the boys never understood why I go to the spa for that. I’ve told them it’s my way of relaxing. They have their little basketball and football games, and I have my retail therapy and spa days.” she replied.
There was a feeling that came over me that this is what is must feel like to have a “real” mother. Someone to talk to, hang out and go shopping with. Despite my earlier reservations about Yuri, she and I have grown to have a mutual respect for one another. She and I were friends. Jaylen was happy about my shopping excursion with his mother. It was important that to him that I felt welcomed into the family and we all love each other.
Kevin and Yuri have been nothing but nice and warm to me from jump. Even Amarre and I were cool in the beginning. Now that Amarre and I have squashed our issues, we were getting along again. I still didn’t feel as close to Amarre as a brother like Kennedey felt toward Jay, but I think over time, it was possible we would feel the same way about each other.
Now that I was back to work, the shoots and campaigns kept coming without let up. I turned down several offers and opportunities presented to my team because I wasn’t ready to make so many frequent overseas trips being newly married. It was very important to Jay and I that we spent as much time together as possible. Jaylen would accompany as much as he could if I had a particular important campaign out of the country. When it absolutely necessary for Jay to go to New York on business, I would go with him if my schedule permitted me to.
The New York trips turned out to be pretty convenient for the both of us. A lot of my work as a model was centered in New York, the fashion capitol of the world. When I had to be in New York, Jay tried to work it, so that those were the times he would go to Avenue. Amarre seemed to like it better that Jay was coming to New York more often. It wasn’t so much that Amarre wanted to grow and improve Avenue, but he wanted to convince Jay to sell. Amarre already had potential buyers lined up. He was just waiting for Jay to get on board since it was their business together.
I’d just returned to the apartment after a day long shoot for Vogue. Jay and I were headed back to IP tomorrow. Other than working, we didn’t do a whole lot on this trip. Jay told me about his meeting at Avenue with Amarre. I could tell from the tone of his voice, things didn’t go over so well pertaining to Powers Entertainment Group.
“But, baby, I thought Amarre didn’t want to head into any new ventures until Tomo was at least a few years old and continued to make a profit,” I questioned. “He does. That’s one of the reasons he wants to get rid of Avenue, so he can focus on Tomo and expand. Miami is hot right now. Everyone wanna rock out there. Young people are booking vacations just to go clubbing. A’ figures, by the time he’s ready to open in Miami, Tomo will be two years old or so. He doesn’t want to focus anymore time on Avenue. Eventually in two to three years from now, my brother wants to open a bigger, swankier club in Manhattan,” replied Jaylen, rubbing at his temples.
“What about your New York base? Avenue is still very popular,” I said. “Yeah, but Amarre wants another high end club like Tomo that will attract bigger celebrities and folks with deep pockets. He ain’t trying market to Pookie ‘nem up the block. If we got this vodka deal up and running to sell along with exclusive VIP and bottle service, the projections look very good. Our business would become even more successful and expand. But that shit ain’t a walk in the park, it takes a lot of work,” replied Jaylen. I didn’t want to get into a deep discussion about their club business with Jay. Ultimately it’s Amarre and Jay’s decision what they did. If some shit go down and Jay decides he is flat out against setting up in Miami, I don’t want anybody trying to say it was me that convinced him not to.
“I let my brother know, it was best to freeze right now. There’s no need to rush into all of that, especially when Tomo is doing so well and Ave continues to bring in impressive numbers. Amarre is looking for brand recognition. Having our name stamped in the hottest markets will give us that,” said Jaylen. Jaylen repeated the words like it was something he has heard time and again. They’ve taken many meetings with their team over the last couple of weeks. For what sounds like something that should be exciting, Jaylen obviously wasn’t feeling it. Jay didn’t want to see what he did for a living as only chasing paper or building some kind of conglomerate. He’s mentioned in the past that he wanted to expand, but felt that was far off into the future.
Jaylen told me a few months ago about Amarre’s perfectly laid out plans for his future, both personally and professionally. Jay and his brother may be twins, but they certainly differed when it came to their outlook on life. I wasn’t going to tell Jay what to do. Thankfully, he knew what’s really important and he wanted to focus on our marriage more than growing his business at this point. If that was his ultimate dream, of course I would support my husband, but I knew he wanted to sit back and work what they’ve already established.
Nearly a month had passed since our trip to New York and Jay and I were both working like crazy. It was important that we spend a lot time together. Yuri told me the same thing when I saw her last in New York. She said it was vital that as newlyweds we made time for our marriage above anything else. Yuri said just because we’re married now, doesn’t mean the romance has to stop. I told her just how romantic her son was. She wasn’t surprised to hear that because apparently Kevin was the same way.
Yuri said it was my job as the wife to make sure the husband didn’t forget that I needed to continue to be romanced because as men they tend to forget even if they start out that way. Thankfully, Jay showed no signs of slacking off in that department just yet.
One day, Jalyen suggested a quiet romantic evening at home. “We won’t even talk about work, love. Let’s take a bottle of champagne and relax in the jacuzzi for a while. Maybe I can give you a massage,” suggested Jaylen, leaning close to me. I kind of laughed to myself. “What’s so funny, Ma?” asked Jaylen. I shook my head. “Nothing boo, I was just thinking how sexy you are, just like when I met you,” I murmured.
Jaylen and I took off our clothes and got comfortable in the jacuzzi. The jets felt so good against my back, but I think it was something more that had me in a sexy mood. It was going to be hard for me to get up after this. “We need to get that sauna in here now, Ma,” said Jaylen. “Hmmm-mmm,” I murmured, lazily.
Jaylen got up and positioned himself in front of me. He wrapped his arms around my waist and slowly began kissing my neck and chest. I moaned, damn those lips. Jaylen lifted me up and disappeared underneath the water for a considerable amount of time. I laid my head back, my chest heaved in and out. I looked up at the stars. I didn’t know if it was my imagination or the fireworks going off inside of me, but I thought I saw about two or three shooting stars making their way across the night sky.
My toes began to curl as I let out a deep breath. Jaylen reemerged from the water. He stared at me with those sexy ass bedroom eyes. He grabbed my thighs and pulled into him. I knew it wasn’t my imagination this time, I really did see a shooting star at the exact time more fireworks went off in Wonderland.
I bit down on Jaylen’s shoulder. Not that we had any next door neighbors that could hear us, but as loud as I was, it was possible they could hear us all the way over on the main island. Jaylen let out a loud groan after releasing me from his hold.
“It’s warmer down there. There’s so many interesting and fun things to explore at the bottom of the ocean,” he said licking his lips. Jay and I embarked on our own underwater expedition. There was all kinds of fun down below. We spent the next few hours discovering new ways to enjoy the water. It wasn’t necessary for me to describe any further details, you can use your imagination. Let’s just say Mr. and Mrs. Powers had more than a good night.
Briah’s Story has been updated Part 4